The Indian government has ordered a halt to the sale of the veterinary drug diclofenac (Voltaren). Veterinary businesses have been given three months to shut down their diclofenac production completely. This comes in the wake of disturbing research revealing the capacity of diclofenac to wipe out three species of Indian vultures (“International Effort May Save Asias Vultures”, Kruger Park Times, February).
Diclofenac is used to protect cattle from disease, but will most likely be replaced by the non-lethal drug meloxicam (Mobic). The populations of the three Asian Gyps vulture species (Slenderbilled, Indian, and White-rumped) have already declined by 97% in the last 15 years.